Arsenal ‘weighing up loan move for Karim Benzema’

Arsenal are allegedly weighing up whether it is plausible to launch a loan bid for Al-Ittihad forward Karim Benzema.

Up until the Christmas and New Year period, Mikel Arteta would have been delighted with his team’s efforts during the first half of the campaign.

However, a run of just one win and four points from five matches in the Premier League has left the Gunners in fourth position in the table, five points adrift of leaders Liverpool

Their return of 37 goals from 20 matches is just the seventh-best in the division, while Bukayo Saka is the top goalscorer with just six strikes to his name.

With Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus having only eight top-flight goals between them, Arteta would ideally like to strengthen his attacking options before the end of January.

Much will depend on how the North Londoners can handle their FFP position with a number of exits required to facilitate a major move in the market.

As it stands, there has been no activity during the January window, although that is expected to change in due course with business to close in two weeks’ time.

According to TEAMtalk, Arsenal hold an interest in securing the services of Benzema for the second half of the season.

During the summer, the legendary forward ended his long-term association with Real Madrid to make the surprise move to Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Ittihad

The transfer is yet to pay off, though, with the 36-year-old part of a squad that sits 25 points adrift of leaders Al-Hilal and their defence of their league title realistically already over

Furthermore, Benzema has recently been excluded from a mid-season training camp, and reports persist that there is scope for a loan switch elsewhere.

Arsenal would need to find a way to handle Benzema’s astronomical salary if they were to complete a deal, as would Chelsea who are also said to be monitoring the situation.

Benzema’s holds a contract at Al-Ittihad until 2026, making a permanent switch highly unrealistic at the midway point of 2023-24, while Al-Ittihad also have aspirations to win the AFC Champions League

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